I’m not entirely sure why, but the original Xbox’s launch controller, affectionately known as ‘The Duke’ is set to make a return this March.
Yes, you read that correctly.
The revival of The Duke, a ridiculously large controller that only those with gargantuan hands were capable of using, was designed by one of the creators of the original Xbox console, Seamus Blackley. Hyperkin, a retro game accessory and console manufacturer, is manufacturing and selling the device. Shortly after the original Xbox’s release The Duke was replaced by a new, more reasonably sized take on the design called the Xbox Controller S.
— Seamus Blackley (@SeamusBlackley) June 12, 2017
The centrepiece of the controller, or the ‘jewel’ — the location where a giant, obnoxious Xbox logo sat in order to collect fingerprints and grease — has been turned into an OLED screen that displays the original Xbox’s startup animation.
Remember the awful, barely usable D-pad? Perhaps you have fond memories of the black and white buttons that were nearly impossible to reach unless you clawed your hand around the gamepad like a raptor from Jurassic Park? Have it all again for only $70 (about $86 CAD).
Almost $90 is a lot to ask for a controller that I remember as one of the worst I’ve ever used. Still, I do have fond memories with the gamepad like spending a weekend at my older brother’s place while he was in University so we could play Halo Combat Evolved and Oddworld Munch’s Odyssey on a rented Xbox.
Excuse me while I go put in my pre-order.
At CES Hyperkin also revealed plans to revive the original Game Boy, complete with a backlight and a USB Type-C port.